Slowing down in 2018
As we step into a new year can we commit to taking more time for the truly important things in life? Time with loved ones, moments of connection, being with our own experience and listening to what is really happening. The speed of our society seems to increase each year, can you find a way to take a few moments in your day to be leisurely?
I don’t like to create resolutions at the beginning of the year. It seems like a strange thing to wait till a new year to start something that you think is important. I usually just try and make adjustments throughout the year. However, this year has brought a different reality in my life that is calling me to move slower and find even more presence.
My wife and I just had two twin boys.
As I start my journey as a father I can see that much of my identity to accomplish and reach goals is not what two young boys need. They need a father that is more engaged with them and not solely focused on getting things done. This is not to give up my goals and commitments to my calling in life but to increase my ability to be a full participant with my twin babies.
All around me I see how technology, social media and the cult of business is calling us to do more with less time. I find myself stepping into this new year committed to being in a place where I can find depth and connection rather than breadth of experience. Instead of trying to learn more I want to use what I already know. Instead of having more experiences I want to have meaningful experiences that I can treasure. Instead of getting more work done I hope to be able to spend more quality time with my wife, babies and all of the amazing people in my community.
Carl Honoré in his book, In Praise Of Slowness: Challenging The Cult of Speead, articulates well the need to find more slowness in our lives.
The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds. (Honoré, 2009)
Honoré goes on to explorer the growing slow movements that are developing around the world. People in all walks of life are challenging the need to move at an inhuman pace.
This is all so easy for me to write about, but, in practice, I struggle to slow down. Each morning I awake with the notion that I’m already behind and need to catch up. My to-do list is front and center in my mind and I race to check off each thing. I rush through my mediation and workout so that I can get to the next thing on the list.
My goal for this year is not, to stop being productive, but to be more conscious of my prioritization of doing. My wife has been helping to slow me down for much of our relationship. I am not starting from ground zero. Still, I know that my my ideas of what it means to be a man are so tied up in my ability to do get things done.
These new babies are opening me up to exploring being more present. It is exactly where I need to grow.
I wish you all a wonderful 2018 and hope that you two can find more time for long walks, meditation, home made meals and long periods of love making.
I will be done with my paternity leave at the end of January.
If you are looking for support around, anxiety, depression, relationship struggles or anything else I write about in these newsletters I hope you will reach out.
Wishing You The Year You Need To Have!